February is the month where we lead with our hearts.   We give them freely, and secretly hope to receive one or two in return.  Valentine’s Day we celebrate love and remind those we care about how much they mean to us.  This month is especially important for the women in your life.  Not because she needs chocolate or an expensive piece of jewelry, but because she needs to know how to protect her heart.  No, not from being broken, but from a much more serious issue facing women – heart disease.  Heart disease is the number one killer for all Americans but it especially affects Hispanic women.

The American Heart Association sounded the alarm last July calling for the urgent need for ‘culturally tailored healthcare’ for Hispanic Americans.  Unfortunately, when it comes to healthcare Hispanics are often left behind which is astounding because they consist of 18% of the US population with origins from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Central and South America.  It’s not enough to simply translate a healthcare document without taking into consideration cultural values and beliefs, the impact of acculturation and lifestyle.  Many physicians agree the need is greater now than ever before for medical information to be relevant and available to the Hispanic community.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women.  To put it in perspective 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, and 1 in 3 dies of heart disease. Hispanic women are especially at risk, and are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.  If we know this is happening then why do we not properly educate Hispanic women and their families on the risk factors and signs of a heart attack?

The American Heart Association works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of health as well as other government agencies to compile data, and the statistics are heartbreaking.

Overall statistics 

  • Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Heart disease kills approximately one woman every minute.
  • An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
  • Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.
  • The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women and men, and are often misunderstood.
  • Women comprise only 24 percent of participants in all heart-related studies.

Hispanic women

  • Only 1 in 3 Hispanic women are aware that heart disease is their No. 1 killer.
  • Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.
  • Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.
  • Hispanic women primarily will seek treatment and adhere to their doctors orders especially for the purpose of their family. Being there for there for loved ones is the main reason to take time to ensure they are healthy.

Let’s show our Latina women some love this February and encourage your loved ones to be heart healthy.

For more information on heart disease and women check out www.goredforwomen.org

For more information on creating culturally relevant medical documents from your organization please contact one of our team members today.